CAS Visits South Africa

CAS President Elect and Editor visited South Africa to share curriculum on CAS and self-assessment with higher education professionals.
June was an exciting month for CAS as two representatives from the Governing Board spent time at two universities in South Africa providing assessment training to nearly 200 staff members.
Gavin Henning, CAS President Elect, had the opportunity to attend the NASPA/IASAS Global Summit in October to discuss international higher education. During the summit, Gavin shared information about the work of CAS with colleagues from higher education associations around the world. As a result of that introduction, CAS received invitations to present more detail about CAS and provide assessment training. Jen Wells, CAS Editor, developed the curriculum and spearheaded the workshop presentations.

Jen and Gavin's trip began with a little sightseeing. On their first day, they visited Robben Island to tour the prison where Nelson Mandela was held. On day two, they took a tour from Cape Town to the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point (the southwestern most point in Africa). On their journey to the gorgeous peninsula, they
encountered baboons and penguins. On the final sightseeing day, Jen and Gavin courageously boarded a cable car to the top of Table Mountain. Given that both are acrophobic, this may have been the biggest accomplishment of the trip. Their fear paid off with breathtaking views. 

The educational portion of the trip began on Monday, June 5th with a visit to Stellenbosch University, located about 45 minutes east of Cape Town. Almost 100 staff from 18 universities in the Western Cape province participated in a two-day training. The first day focused on general assessment as well as developing and assessing outcomes. The second day centered on CAS, including an overview and in-depth discussion of the self-assessment process using CAS Self-Assessment Guides. The training was well received, and the participants were genuinely engaged with the content and conversations.

On June 7th, Jen and Gavin traveled to Johannesburg (called JoBurg by the locals) for a visit at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), which is located roughly 45 minutes north of JoBurg in Pretoria. TUT is in the opposite corner of the country from Stellenbosch. At TUT, Jen and Gavin replicated their training for 90 staff members from South Africa's largest residential university. Once again, they were impressed with the wonderful colleagues they met and inspired by their energy for learning about CAS.
During their visit overall, Jen and Gavin learned a great deal about South African higher education, which is quite similar to US higher education. Officials that Gavin and Jen met with are interested in further collaboration with CAS, especially since higher education staff are interested in developing standards of practice, similar to CAS, for programs and services in South African universities. CAS looks forward to identifying future opportunities for training and collaborating with global colleagues to improve the quality of higher education and promote student learn, development, and success.